Bohab = GWAR jargon for GWAR fanboys (equivalent to SubGenius "Bobbies")
I'm sitting here listening to a compilation I made of the studio versions of the GWAR songs used in the Ragnarok show, in sequence. These heavy speed metal thrash gothic horror movie themes have a way of growing on you. The catchy little numbers "MEAT SANDWICH," "RAGNAROK" and "SICK OF YOU" have been rattling around in my brain for more than a week now. Especially "SICK OF YOU." It's dedicated to the Bohabs; Oderus 'pees' at the audience for the entire time that he's singing it.
Touring with GWAR was most... educational. I managed to videotape at least one severe mosh pit head injury in progress, and I gained a tolerance for dozens of new drugs and a couple of new sex acts. I got used to the smell of the band members' rotting flesh (I was right, they AREN'T rotting rubber suits), and I got a taste for Mace laced with Lysol and crack, The Sexecutioner's favorite combination. There were several moments each night when what unfolded before my eyes looked exactly like a Chick Christian Comic version of Hell. Devilacqua and I were plunged so deep into the "touring rock band" scene that we started speaking in the jargon, whereby "Bob" T-shirts and etc. are called "swag," and tattoos spontaneously grow like a fungus on our skin overnight.
I also learned how TRULY ELITE the SubGenius "audience" is. For years I've been complaining about how a SubGenius devival looks like a room full of geek boys with glasses. That was never totally true and in fact the average Devival crowd nowadays is more than half grownups and at least a third female. The GWARheads or Bohabs ARE however like our worst nightmare of an all-nerd-boy crowd. Worse, they're PINK DUPE REDNECK NERDS. (There are probably exceptions.) The single most telling aspect of our stint with GWAR, besides that the Bohabs can't listen to anything BUT thrash metal music, was the "SURE FIRE SELLING LINE" that Devilacqua developed on the last night we were with GWAR, in Louisville Kentucky. During the course of the shows, Steve had run the SubGenius concessions and had used or INVENTED every possible "short slick description of the Church of the SubGenius," and the ONLY ONE that WORKED AT ALL went like this:
"So what's this SubGenius thing, man?"
"It started in Texas and got big in California, and now it's what all the kids in Seattle are doing."
"Okay, I'll take one of those T-shirts."
I wouldn't even have TRIED SubGenius preaching at hardly any other current touring rock band's concerts, but the Sexecutioner I both hoped that maybe the GWAR audience would be susceptible to the Church message -- or at least the keen Church videotapes and Drs. 4 "Bob" music track that went with the preaching. After all, GWAR is basically a conceptual theatrical satirical troup that happens to use hardcore concerts as a medium. It's not just a band of 5 monsters; there're all these butt-naked slaves running around cavorting and putting on two or three sicko performance art pieces while the band plays, and the whole show is structured like a rock opera, with a plot and everything. Not to mention all the nifty monsters, huge swords, aliens, sperm extractors, etc. I mean, this is a HELL of a show. In the first 5 minutes, OJ Simpson gets decapitated and sprays blood all over the audience from his stump, then Jerry Garcia gets the skin ripped off his face and his guts strewn all over the stage. Oderus gets abducted by Greys who then impregnate Symenstra after her fire dance while putting out the fire with Oderus's sperm. Pregnant, she's crucified on a cross of nails and Sexecutioner attempts to rape the unborn fetus after extracting the hideous mutant baby by cesarian, but it bites his face off. Then the Catholic Robot Priests of Cardinal Syn arrive to battle GWAR and kidnap the baby. A comet which the band had promised would destroy the world turns out to be a 16 foot tall alien robot, Cardinal Syn, who, posing as God, started all world religions. At the end of the show, Sexy and the slaves toss live squirming female audience members into the maw of a gigantic worm, the World Maggot, as sacrifices. This IS the hardest working band in show business. (Stills of everything I've described are viewable at the GLIMPSES INTO THE GWAR UNIVERSE page.)
Neither 200 MOTELS, MOTHERS OF INVENTION LIVE AT THE FILMORE, nor SPINAL TAP contain even the slightest exaggerrations or distortions of the backstage rock and roll world.
The band, the slaves, the caterers, the technicians, and Pat the swag man were all real pros and most courteous to us. In fact, Devilacqua caught a disease, the Slymenstra Hymen virus, because she was so generous. There were two other bands on the tour, BRUTAL JUICE from Denton, Texas and NEUROSIS from San Francisco, and those musicians were all just plain folks and SubGenius-friendly, too. The grunts and techies at the various venues were generally worthy individuals.
It was the AUDIENCE that was the problem. The incredible PINKNESS disguised as token weirdness, the IMPENETRABLE MEDIOCRETINISM. What a herd. No wonder GWAR refers to them as maggots. That is exactly what a sea of 2,000 of them resembles when viewed from a balcony.
The Sexecutioner gave me some pre-release misc. new GWAR videos, plus an amazing appearance by Oderus Urungus and Beefcake on the Joan Rivers show. She describes GWAR as "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on LSD," which is not a bad description, except she left out "X-rated" and "the most Satanic-LOOKING thing you ever saw."
As for the SubGenius part of the shows...
The very first night of the tour, in Cleveland, was a TOTAL WASHOUT for me... coming on 3 hours into the evening, after 2 bands, with the audience drunk and thirsting for fake blood... well, it didn't work. I maintained my dignity quite well, I must say, in the face of deadly missiles and intense hostility. Before calling it quits I even managed to get in a "YOU'RE ALL GONNA BE WORKING FOR YOUR DADS IN FIVE YEARS!," and sodomized the Sexecutioner on stage before directing him to throttle Dobbs (a fake, of course -- Devilacqua in a suit and the Joe Riley Dobbsmask).
For the next five shows I was the FIRST THING UP, and by dumbing down my rant, shortening it to 15 minutes, and prostituting myself, I managed to make it work. Basically, I walked out cussing like a sailor, got the audience to chant GWAR for a minute right off the bat, to get it out of their systems, talked about all the drugs and blowjobs the band was doing backstage, promised violence and death, promised that everyone in the audience would die, promised that I wouldn't preach, burned money lit with a flaming sword in order to cleanse the hall of Normalcy, and then started sliding in Dobbs stuff... about how the guy with the pipe taught Sleazy P. Martini everything he knows, how he won't die for your sins but JUSTIFY them, how whe wants you to SIN MORE, then I'd say I was finished and start to walk off, then I'd come back and start in on the Conspiracy and how they were TRICKING you into thinking that just because you had a GWAR shirt on you were "COOL" and "FREE," but how you mustn't lose your HATE, then started to leave again, then came back and displayed the Bleeding Head of Arnold Palmer, booted it around, snuck in more preaching, told the kids the world ended TONIGHT so they might as well max out their parents' credit cards at the concessions booth on GWAR and SubGenius goods, insulted them all for being a bunch of dumb bohabs unable to comprehend anything but mindless thrash music who would all be selling out and working for the Con in no time, and finally quit the stage.
Total was usually about 13 minutes... and when it sunk in to Oderus that I was getting $500 for 13 minutes, we agreed to all cut our losses while still ahead. By keeping it short and acting like a dumbshit, I actually "had" the bohabs at all but the Cleveland show and the last show, Louisville -- where my comments about Christians didn't go over real well. At each show I'd ask, "How many Christians are there in the audience tonight? (no response in most places)) I didn't think so. If you are a Christian, you'll probably HATE this show." Then I would use Sterno's old line, "Now... how many REAL DRUG ADDICTS are there in the audience tonight?" To which of course the whole place would explode in ecstacy and approval... sick... I also managed to work in the old line, "You CHRISTIANS like to drink the SYMBOLIC blood of you QUITTER GOD on the altar... we demand the REAL THING, and GUESS WHOSE BLOOD IT IS THIS TIME!!" plus the old "You worship a dead guy on a stick... we worship a chopped-off head that gets hit with a stick. CAN'T WE FIND SOME COMMON GROUND?" etc. The Louisville kids, who didn't even know what GWAR was, would hear stuff like this... AND STILL THINK I WAAS JUST A CRAZY CHRISTIAN PREACHER!! I mean, these Baptist kids think of CATHOLICISM as a weird cult, and have never even HEARD of any OTHER weird cults. Literally anything said by me, GWAR, or the other bands was taken by these RUBES at FACE VALUE. It made me wonder how Janor and Sterno have managed to survive at ALL in Little Rock for all these years.
When Devilacqua and I parted ways with GWAR just before the Columbus show, and drove back to Cleveland with all the swag, it was a TREMENDOUS RELIEF, because it meant we could SLEEP and NOT DRIVE OR LOAD. And yet... and yet... that whole tour, as strenuous as it was, was a VACATION. No phone, no email. I got to escape to someone else's self-validating philosophy and constructed universe.
The SubGenius Tour Bus, aka 'The Sorceror' -- our home away from home.
Our Accomodations (inside The Sorceror). Rev. Stang is packing the Pulpit.
Notice the anti-gravity air mattress on its side. One can sleep on it that way.
Notice the anti-gravity air mattress on its side. One can sleep on it that way.
NENSLO's GWAR report
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (NENSLO)
Date: 21 Nov 1995 02:04:16 GMT
In contradistinction to the glorious experiences in Cleveland,
Stang's presentation in Portland was the ORDERLIEST damn thing I have
ever seen subgeniuswise. After the second scream/drone band finished and
Stang was introduced, everybody stopped smashing into each other and
STOOD STILL, actually listening to what he said! Eventually they began
to sit down on the already slimy floor and listen politely, responding
appropriately, laughing, crying, cheering as if on cue!
Rather a disappointing experience.
It took a couple of songs before GWAR even had them all up on
their feet again, and it put a damper on the whole show.
Good old Stang.
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